Major Duties & Responsibilities of Being a Pharmacist

Filling prescriptions is just one aspect of a pharmacist's job.
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If you love managing a team, helping others and tackling challenges, a career as a pharmacist might be perfect for you. Working in hospitals, drug stores and grocery stores, pharmacists are usually full-time employees who make sure people get the prescriptions they need. While duties may vary from one pharmacy to another, the major responsibilities of all pharmacists are virtually the same.

Filling Prescriptions

    Physicians call medication prescriptions for patients into pharmacies, and it is the pharmacist's job to fill them. This is no responsibility to take lightly, as the slightest mistake in filling a prescription -- be it providing the wrong dose or the incorrect medication -- could prove fatal to patients. People often visit different doctors for different things, and may forget to inform one of the physicians about all of the medications they take. As a pharmacist, you will look over a patient's prescription history to ensure that her new prescription will not interact negatively with other medications she takes.

Educating Patients

    As a pharmacist, you will be an expert in both prescription and over-the-counter medications, and you will educate patients and customers about them. People may wander into the pharmacy seeking relief from chronic headaches or the common cold, and you will make recommendations regarding over-the-counter medications to alleviate their symptoms. When patients arrive to pick up -prescriptions, you will tell them about any potential side effects the medications may have and provide them with instructions regarding how the medication should be taken.

Supervising Employees

    A lot of work is involved in keeping a pharmacy running smoothly, and fortunately, you won't have to tackle everything on your own. Your pharmacy will be staffed with technicians and interns to assist you in carrying out your duties, and you will supervise them. In the case of interns, you will help show them the ropes so that they can become successful pharmacists themselves.


    Documentation is necessary for ensuring that patients receive the medications and service they need. From filling out insurance paperwork to conducting audits and compiling pharmaceutical orders, pharmacists keep meticulous records for each patient; be prepared to handle a lot of paperwork and online records.

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